French supermarket chain, The Carrefour Group, has become the latest customer of fuel cell specialist Plug Power, investing in more than 150 GenDrive fuel cell units for its forklifts.

The retailer will deploy the devices in its STILL-brand electric lift trucks at its new distribution centre in Vendin-lès-Béthune, Northern France.

The new deal, of which financial details were not disclosed, supports Carrefour’s commitments in reducing its energy consumption by 30% and greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2025. The corporation’s internal hydrogen (H2) infrastructure plan will be finalised in the coming months, meaning this project with Plug Power will be commissioned later this year.

Carrefour is the leading retailer in Europe and boasts more than 12,300 stores worldwide. As such, a press release affirmed, “Securing Carrefour as a GenDrive customer is a significant milestone for Plug Power in building its businesses in Europe, and provides a critical validation for H2 and fuel cell throughout the continent.”

Clean energy adoption

The GenDrive fuel cell solution has been designed as an alternative to using industrial lead-acid batteries and can slot into existing material handling truck fleets. The units recharge in just two minutes and are zero-emission – eliminating any cost or time associated with handling, swapping batteries and storage.

Andy Marsh, CEO, stressed, “Plug Power understands why Carrefour found our GenDrive fuel cell solutions in line with its philosophy to adopt clean energy in its daily operations and we look forward to heling this new customer grow it businesses.”

Last week, the US-based business received a purchase order from fellow French international corporation, FM Logistics, further solidifying its commitment its European rollout scheme.